Summary: Educators often talk a lot about "fidelity" - but what does this word mean, and how important is fidelity in actual practice? Stan Hamstra tackles this controversy head-on in this thought-provoking essay. Description: Educators often talk a lot about "fidelity" - but what does this word mean, and how important is fidelity in actual practice? Stan Hamstra tackles this controversy head-on in this thought-provoking essay. He argues that the word "fidelity" means so many different things to different people (or the same people in different situations) that we should abandon this term in favor of more descriptive labels. He also cites evidence illustrating that physical fidelity (physical resemblance) typically has little impact on learning outcomes.

Hamstra suggests that we embrace "functional task alignment" as a more accurate label for the type of fidelity that really matters in education. Functional task alignment emphasizes the key steps in the task to be learned rather than the superficial appearance of the simulator.

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